Evi Lemberger – The Fairy Tale About the Galoshes of Fortune

“Home is a Nonplace. Home is an utopia. You can experience in the most intense way, if you are away and you miss it; the actual homefeeling is the homesickness. And even if you are not away, the homefeeling nourishes itself out of the missing, out of that, which does not anymore or not just yet exist. Because the memory and the longing are turning places into homes.” – Bernhard Schlink

Unknown, Vári, Ukraine 07th April 2009.

Unknown, Vári, Ukraine 07th April 2009.

The series is about Transcarpathia, a region in the west of Ukraine, which is surrounded by the natural border of the Carpathian mountains and artificial borders of the countries Hungary, Slovakia and Rumania. Within the 20th century it used to belong to 7 different countries: till 1918 it belonged to Hungary, then for 20 years to Czech Slovakia, for two weeks it became an autonomous country, then, till 1944, it belonged to Hungarian, then to Soviet Union and since 1991 to Ukraine. Nowadays the area is quite dismissed by the Ukraine or Hungarian government. The area statistically has about 80 till 90 percent unemployment and the most people have their own land and animals in order to get their food. Nowadays a lot of different nationalities and religions are settled in this region, and dependent on the proportion of nationality and religion the language and time is set to Ukrainian or Hungarian (Hungarian time, which is the unofficial time, is one hour behind the Ukrainian). Sometimes official time is according to the unofficial time, sometimes it is just in Hungarian related institutions and mostly the unofficial time diverse from the official time.

A situation, which a lot of different countries are facing. Above all east European Countries, like Rumania, Hungary, Slovakia or Slovenian are dealing with this problem. These countries, which were part of the big Habsburger kingdom, were spitted up and it seems more than a game: The game cards were mixed and the regions serve as chess figures for the political leader those days. Border was changed and countries were founded according to their geographical location, rather than relating to their history, language or culture.

Thereby there has been no consideration for the society and culture of the people, who have to deal with the effects of it. I was travelling in Transcarpathia. I was visiting different places in order to find the inhabitants’ identity, their ideas and their wishes. Talking to people from different nationalities and religious background I tried to find answers on my search for identity.

Result is a very personal interpretation of an area and its peoples’ identity that are confronted with a lack of national and individual belonging. The presented pictures are an attempt to try to communicate my interpretation of their identity.

Evi Lemberger


Woman, near Lopukhovo, Carpathan, Ukraine.

Woman, near Lopukhovo, Carpathan, Ukraine.

Girl, Lopukhovo, Ukraine, 10th April 2009

Castle, Munkatsz, Ukraine, 04th April 2009

Man, Lopukhovo, Ukraine, 10th April 2009

Kahao Vargo, Vari, Ukraine, 06th. April. 2009

Boy, Vari, Ukraine, 09th April 2009

Unknown, Lopukhovo, Ukraine,11th April 2009

More images and other interesting projects on cargocollective.com/evilemberger. Evi Lemberger was born in Germany, did a degree at “London College of Communication” with a short exchange term in Leipzig at the “Academy for Art and Design”. After finishing she was working as a photojournalist in Moscow, doing a commissioned work for “Norfolk Contemporary Art Society” in Transcarpathia, Ukraine and writing for the online magazine “jetzt“, Munich. She also worked on a photo essay in Hungary about Racism and Antisemitism and went recently with the Transibirian express from Moscow to Vladiwostok. Recently she received a scholarship for studying Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography. After her scholarship she works freelance and with an agency in Drik, Bangaldesh, India, Greece and Germany. At the moment she is working and living in Lam, Germany.